Showing posts from August, 2019

RPGaDay: Part 3 (Days 22-31)

Bit of a more epic run with this posts 10 entries compared to the previous days where I've done 7 at a time... but here goes. 22. Lost Many of my ideas over the years have been written on scraps of paper, sometimes pasted into diaries or journals. More often than not I don't get to finish working on them because something comes up in my life with a higher priority than game design. I often find that these game ideas become lost for months, years, or even decades before I find them again, then choose to ether integrate them into my new designs, modify them because they've evolved in the meantime, or occasionaly just chuck them out completely because the concepts have been superceded. I was going to develop a wedbsite that was purely a library of lost ideas a few years ago. It was going to be a series of pages of scanned images from those notebooks and paper scraps, for use by anyone who might be interested. But then I realised that most designers probaby have so many

RPGaDay: Part 3 (Days 15-21)

I'm even behind in my catch up, where I had intended to do seven days each post until the end of the month. So, back to the RPGaDay treadmill. Maybe one post this morning, and another to finish everything off tonight. 15. Door A few years ago, I developed a system for analysing and considering roleplaying games. I called it my " Vector Theory ", and it has basically informed all my game designs ever since. The whole idea here is that a story moves in a linear path, sometimes straight, sometimes curving based on pre-existing elements in the setting. Sharp corners occur when game mechanisms come into play, with different types of mechanisms influencing the story path in diferent ways. Another analogous way to look at this might be a series of dungeon corridors. If you follow the story, you follow the corridor. Occasionally you'll see a door. It might lead to another corridor, following the story in a new direction, or it might lead to a room where a variety of

It's going further

Looks like the idea of a Code of Ethics has some traction. Here is a sample of where it seems to be heading . At the moment, a Code of Ethics on its own is a vague an nebulous thing. It doesn't need a regulatory body if everyone agrees to it, but the reason something like this tends to be put in place is because people aren't acting ethically and a community benchmark needs to be set. The closest analogue I can see here is the founding of the Comics Code Authority in the US, back in the 60s. The way I understand it, it wasn't really a watchdog, but more a show of solidarity and wholesomeness in the face of groups who wanted to shut them down. Arguably, something like this might have been useful in the moral panic of "D&D = satanism" back in the 80s. Maybe it will be useful if that sort of thing raises it's head further in the new right wing conservative political climate. Maybe. The catch I see is that the whole thing needs a critical mass of people


I was going to get started on my next batch of 7 RPGaDay posts, but something more interesting came across my radar a few hours ago. I've written a few times abut the way Australian game designers have innovated and generally been ignored, with lots of people saying that maybe Australian's should have publicised their innovation better... Or simply made it known that they were doing things. I guess this is one of those times when innovation is happening, and when everywhere else in the world will generally ignore us until someone in the UK or the US does exactly the same thing then gets praised for their wondrous idea. The innovation is the idea of a game designers Code of Ethics, linked to a professional association of game design. For roleplaying games, this might be a companion association to a professional association of computer game designers, the "industry" probably isn't big enough to necessitate it's own association. Here's some of the discu

RPGaDay 2019: Part 2 (Days 8-14)

Here's seven more responses to this year's RPGaDay labyrinth... 8. Obscure Roleplaying isn't a mainstream hobby. Yes, it's gaining popularity, but in comparison to sports, music, or movies, it's not a common hobby at all. The major players in the roleplaying "industry" are Wizards of the Coast with "Dungeons and Dragons", then maybe Paizo with "Pathfinder", and Chaosium with "Call of Cthulhu" or Fantasy Flight Games with their assorted licensed products. There are a few other big companies, but in the grand scheme of things, these companies would be considered no bigger than small businesses in most industries. When the larger elements of our hobby are tiny compared to the juggernauts of consumerism, it's hardly surprising that the rest of us wallow in obscurity.  Of course, obscurity isn't entirely a bad thing. On the positive side, creativity can flourish outside of the public eye... a hundred designers

RPGaDay 2019: Part 1

I've been meaning to get to this, but it just hasn't happened. Life has been too busy...but here goes, the first seven. I'm going to approach these prompts from the direction of my game design work with Vulpinoid Studios... 1. First Like most game designers, my first attempts were modifications of the systems I loved to play. I hacked, I cobbled together bits and pieces from different systems, and I threw away the bits I didn't like. I thought they were awesome, but they were probaby awful. They were basically a shiny mix of dazzling surface, with no decent solid core.  The first game I designed from scratch was called Platinum Storm, it was also the first game I sold copies of at conventions. It ran off a percentile system, becase I thought they were great at the time. It was based on a pseudo-Japanese Empire, because I loved samurai and ninja. Of course, as a typical white guy in the early 1990s, most of my understanding of Japanese culture came from elus

RPGaDay coming soon

I'm not doing well this year when it comes to blogging. Things have gradually been getting more hectic in my life, which has meant less time to spend typing away like I did in the past. I'd been hoping to get started on the RPGaDay posts that are doing the rounds this month, but I just haven't had the chance. I've barely got the chance to write this now. Hopefully I'll be able to male two posts a day during the second half of August to catch up and finish on time.